Better Shop Around
When shopping for a site, examine local zoning ordinances specific to the locations you have in mind. Are the properties suitable for self-storage or will they require a use variance? What are the required setbacks and site-coverage requirements? These zoning requirements determine the amount and type of development that can be supported on the site.
Often, developers discover that regulations won’t allow enough of a building footprint on ground level to meet the design they’d planned for a specific site. In such cases, designs are often redrawn with multi-story structures to accommodate more square footage. This resolves the space issue, but not all markets support multi-story building. Zoning may prevent it, or tenants may not like the inconvenience of having to navigate hallways and elevators.
In other words, each market is different and must be evaluated individually. Words of wisdom: Things are not always as they seem. Shopping for a self-storage site is no exception. Consider working with an experienced industry consultant, who can conduct a feasibility study or market assessment to assist you in landing the best spot for your new self-storage venture.
Jeffrey Supnick is president of Supnick Real Estate Co. and is a 25- year veteran of the self-storage industry. He has formerly served as a real estate officer for Public Storage Inc. and Storage USA. During his career, he has been responsible for the development of more than 30 self-storage sites. Supnick Real Estate is a full-service firm devoted exclusively to self-storage brokerage, consulting and property management services. For more information, call 856.722.1414; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.supnickre.com.